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Malawian Writers Mourn the Passing of Ama Ata Aidoo

Story Club FM

2 Jun 2023

"Let the tomtoms beat
To announce to all
The gentle fall of an iroko tree." - Malunga

Malawi's literary community is grieving the loss of Ama Ata Aidoo, an acclaimed Ghanaian author and playwright, who passed away at the age of 81 in Ghana. Aidoo was a trailblazing figure in African literature, recognized for her fierce advocacy for women's emancipation and her staunch Pan Africanist views, which vehemently opposed Western influence on Africa and its women. She famously challenged the notion of African females as oppressed victims, denouncing it as a "Western perception."


Dr. Benedicto Malunga, a prominent poet, translator, and author from the University of Malawi, paid homage to Aidoo through a poignant poem:


"Let the tomtoms beat

To announce to all

The gentle fall of an iroko tree

Let the whistles blow to pay

Respect to the lady of letters

A marvelous writer

A provocative thinker

An erudite philosopher

Who became a literary

Nile From which minds drunk

Nourishing wisdom fecund

With a cornucopia of insights

Making humanity beneficial"


Aidoo's literary legacy touched the world, serving as an enlightening source of inspiration and fostering meaningful dialogues within academic circles. Some of her notable books include: "Changes: A Love Story" (1991): This novel delves into the complexities of love and marriage, centering around the life of Esi, a modern African woman navigating the challenges of relationships in a changing society."Our Sister Killjoy" (1977): Aidoo's poetic novel explores themes of identity, African diaspora, and the clash between African and Western cultures through the eyes of a young Ghanaian woman. "Dilemma of a Ghost" (1965): Aidoo's debut play examines the struggles faced by a young Ghanaian man living in the United States as he grapples with his African


She possessed an astute understanding of the world and its complexities, which she masterfully portrayed in the prolific books she penned throughout her life.


In remembrance of Aidoo, Stewart, another writer, expressed his sentiments, saying, "May her soul rest in peace. I loved her writing." Shadreck Chikoti, yet another writer, bid farewell with the words, "Rest in Power, Ama." Tadja Nkhonjera added, "Legends live forever. Rest in peace, Ama."


The passing of Ama Ata Aidoo has left an indelible void in the literary world, but her profound contributions and unwavering spirit will continue to inspire generations to come.


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